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Tag: wind

Tilting at windmills in Montana

Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out what these long tubes I kept passing on Interstate 94 in Montana were.

Airplane wings? Some new form of irrigation equipment? Space shuttle components? Pieces of some secret governmental weapon?

I was tilting at windmills.

Which is what they turned out to be — windmill blades, to be precise.

I found that out later at a truck stop in Rocker, just west of of Butte, where several of the oversized loads, having just negotiated the winding stretch of interstate on Butte’s eastern side, had pulled over for a rest.

According to the Associated Press, the explosive growth of the wind energy industry has led to dozens of trucks a day toting the blades down the nation’s Interstate highways to their new homes, mostly in the west.

Commonly traveling in convoys, the oversized loads haven’t caused too many problems. They’re not any wider than a normal truck, but they are longer — much longer. Some of the blades extend 180 feet, about triple the length of regular semitrailer loads.

That means it takes about three times as long to get around them, but considering the clean, renewable, independent energy they will go on to supply, I’m a fan.

NYC terrier survives five story fall

It was like a scene from the Wizard of Oz, and it most likely left Alfie wondering what it was all about.

A silky terrier in Manhattan, swept off an 11th floor terrace by high winds, survived a five-story fall with only minor injuries.

Sarann Lindenauer, 67, had opened her terrace door to let in some air, left her apartment for five minutes and came back to find Alfie — a 4-year-old, 10-pound silky terrier — had vanished.

“I ran all over the house calling his name,” she told the New York Post. “I looked down on the plaza and onto the landing of the town houses.”

The dog was swept from the Independence Plaza complex on May 3 during a thunderstorm, landing five stories below, and 30 feet to the east, on a rooftop.

“It was like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and he was Toto,” said Jessica Gould, a neighbor who rescued Alfie.  Gould, who lives in a different tower of the complex, had been looking out at the storm from her seventh-floor window and spotted Alfie.

Gould retrieved the dog and brought him to the lobby.

“‘This is Alfie. Oh, my, God … He came from the 11th floor,” she recounted the doorman saying. Lindenauer was called and reunited with the dog, who  sustained only a few bruises and scratches and a cut lip.

“It had to be a horrible, horrible quick wind because he definitely doesn’t jump,” said Lindenauer, who added that Alfie no longer likes going out on the terrace.